Top haunted hotels: Where to go for a scary overnight stay.
Regardless whether you believe in ghosts, haunted hotels can be a real hoot.
Haunted America Tours has put together a Top Ten Haunted Hotels of the U.S. (www.hauntedamericatours.com). Topping the list: Hotel Provincial in New Orleans, where guests report seeing the ghosts of bloody soldiers in what was once a Confederate hospital. Building No. 5 is reputed to be the most haunted. See www.hotelprovincial.com; rates from $79).
You can find reports of haunted hotels all over the country. To narrow the choices, look for one that embraces its ghostly brethren.
• The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo.: Horror novelist Stephen King stayed in Room 217 while writing “The Shining,” but Rooms 408 and 418 are said to be the most haunted. The hotel offers the Historic Ghost Tour, which includes visits to haunted rooms and an underground tunnel, for $15 per person. Reservations are recommended. See www.stanleyhotel.com, or call 970-577-4000; rates from $129.
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• Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach, Calif.: During select nights in October and on Nov. 1, the ocean liner-turned-hotel hosts “Shipwreck: 15 Nights of Terror,” which includes five scary mazes. Tickets start at $29. Get two tickets and accommodations on board for $225 with the Shipwreck “RIP” Overnight package. See www.queenmary.com, or call 800-437-2934.
• The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Ark.: Once a cancer hospital and girls’ school, this hotel is packed with ghosts, including a regular in Room 218. Mediums conduct nightly tours for $18 per person, $7 for ages 5 and younger. See www.crescent-hotel.com, or call 877-342-9766; rates from $149)
• Le Pavillon Hotel in New Orleans: Capitalizing on its four resident ghosts, the hotel offers the Le Pavillon Haunted Experience with evening seance-inspired turndown service, two adult passes for the Ghost Expeditions French Quarter Investigation and more. Package starts at $149. See www.lepavillon.com, or call 800-535-9095.
• Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco: The hotel lobby is the starting point for the San Francisco Ghost Hunt, a walking tour that leaves daily at 7 p.m., except Tuesdays. Cost is $20 per person, $10 for ages 16 and younger (not recommended for 8 or younger). See www.queenanne.com, or call 800-227-3970; rates from $159.